DUSHANBE, February 3, 2010, Asia-Plus  -- Sayfullo Safarov, deputy director of the Center for Strategic Studies under the President of Tajikistan, considers that Tajik journalists have not yet learnt to observe country’s laws.

“First of all, journalists should realize that there are laws in Tajikistan and it is necessary to observe them,” said Safarov, “Court has already punished one newspaper (Dushanbe weekly Paykon (Arrowhead) – Asia-Plus) and this will be a lesson to journalists.  Every citizen must realize what is in store for him for libel and he will not distribute obviously false information any more.  Everyone is equal under the law, irrespective of his status, whether it is an official, a journalist or a military officer.”

The senior expert from the Tajik official think tank claims that judicial system is independent and decisions made by courts should be examined by experts and lawyers but not by journalists.  “The Prosecutor-General’s Office and high-quality lawyers must consider mistakes made by judges.”

According to him, slapdash job is felt in activities of Tajik newspapers that results in them publishing unchecked information.

“When printing their materials, journalists should show them to skilled and competent editors because it cannot be ruled out that any mistake will be made, you know,” said Safarov, “Journalists are always between the fire and the water and they always have to find the golden mean.  If journalists fulfill these rules they will never be brought to trial for false information.”